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Social Inequalities in HealthNew evidence and policy implications$
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Johannes Siegrist and Michael Marmot

Print publication date: 2006

Print ISBN-13: 9780198568162

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: September 2009

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198568162.001.0001

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Socio-economic position and health

Socio-economic position and health

The role of coping

(p.127) Chapter 6 Socio-economic position and health
Social Inequalities in Health

Margareta Kristenson

Oxford University Press

People with low socio-economic status (SES) have poorer health prospects compared to people with high socio-economic status. This chapter explores the hypothesis that personal psychosocial resources are important mediators for these effects. In particular, coping ability, i.e., the individual's capacity to cope with life circumstances, is assessed as a possible pathway. First, it presents different concepts embracing the availability of personal psychosocial resources and then reviews the theoretical background for stating that these factors may mediate socio-economic effects on health. In a next step, possible psychobiological mechanisms are explored and some recent empirical data supporting these assumptions are presented. Finally, the chapter discusses implications for interventions in relation to whether intervention on psychological factors is desirable, possible or even necessary if the aim is to reduce negative health effects of low SES.

Keywords:   socio-economic status, poor health, health prospects, psychosocial resources

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